June 5, 2020 - The first Blue Flag in Montenegro this year will be raised on June 8, on the World Ocean and Sea Day, at the "Kalardovo" beach in Tivat. On that occasion, all the winners of the exclusive world eco-label in our country will be announced.
The international recognition "Blue Flag" is an exclusive ecological feature that is awarded annually to beaches and marinas whose users want to participate in this program and meet a total of 32 binding criteria. In Montenegro, this recognition has been awarded since 2003 thanks to the NGO "ECOM" from Kotor, became a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), and thus gained the right to be a National Operator with the financial and organizational support of the Public Company "Morsko Dobro."
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, an international Blue Flag jury met online on April 21 to evaluate the applications of over 4,500 candidates for the 2020 Northern Hemisphere. Extensive preparations by the International team ensured that the online format did not interfere with the quality and results of the meeting.
The International Jury of the Blue Flag in 2020 consisted of Peter Kristensen, European Environment Agency (EEA), David R. Green, Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC), Birguy Lamizana, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Sophie Lewis, World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), Bernard Combes (UNESCO), Jean-Michel Gaigné, International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), Erik Bech, International Life Saving Federation (ILS), Dirk Glaesser, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) & Lourdes Diaz (FEE) ).
The April meeting was also an opportunity to select the winners of the first competition for the best environmental practices at Blue Flag sites in over 40 countries.
The international jury says that the global crisis of COVID-19 will affect the upcoming season of the Blue Flag in the northern hemisphere, and asks that all awarded locations apply local and national health guidelines above all other rules. In these uncertain times, it is essential to remember the important role that the Blue Flag plays in supporting local communities and tourists to identify safe and sustainable destinations. Thanks to the recognized excellence of the Blue Flag award, the public can be sure that it will be safe to visit the places where the blue flag is flying this summer as well.
Last year, 30 beaches waved the Blue Flag in Montenegro. Among the marinas, Marina Bar deserved this recognition, while there were 14 more beaches in the pilot phase for obtaining this ecological label.
May 18, 2020 - From September 1, every first-grade student in Montenegro, all seven and a half thousand, in 500 classes and their 500 teachers, in addition to the classic ones, will have digital textbooks and other contents, the Ministry of Education announced.
In this way, a comprehensive digital transformation of the education system will begin through the pilot project Digital Classroom.
"I can freely say that this is a turning point which means the modernization of the educational process and at the same time giving up the anachronistic traditional, outdated way of presenting teaching content," said Minister of Education Damir Sehovic.
He explained that digital content would be presented in the form of 2D and 3D animations, video materials, simulations, virtual models that will be related to the curriculum and the content of the textbook itself.
"From the next school year, children will have the opportunity to absorb knowledge in a modern, European way and to make that knowledge more permanent," said Sehovic.
The Ministry of Education plans to equip all classrooms with a quality wi-fi signal and IT equipment in all primary and secondary schools by September. Smartboards and smart TVs will be purchased by the sixth grade of primary school, for which the Ministry of Education cooperation with the European Investment Bank, allocated 4-5 million euros.
Thanks to the Learning at Home project, the school year will be completed in a regular way, which will end following the projection defined by the school calendar. It means that the school year will end on June 12, ie, on May 20 for students in the final grades of primary and secondary schools.
"With the Learn at Home project , we saved the children, what is most important, their health, but we also enabled the continuity of learning, which was the essence of the whole story," Sehovic emphasized.
The project Learn at Home project (Uči Doma) has involved 240 teachers from 34 schools. They have recorded 1,700 lectures.
May 18, 2020 - Italian art genius, Marco Mastrazzo, is the new confirmed guest of the fourteenth edition of the Herceg Novi Strip Festival (HSF), which takes place from September 4 to 9. Mastrazzo, one of the biggest names in Italian comics at the moment, has been in the creative drive of the ninth art since 2006.
Practically from the beginning, his professional engagement was related to drawing covers for Dylan Dog's annual specials and American editions of the same hero, which are published under the label Epicenter Comics. He also works for the publisher Editoriale Cosmo as a cover artist for the comic book Caput Mundi. His complete opus also recommends him to American publishers, so today, his covers are adorned by Zenescope Entertainment. At the same time, in Italy, he joins the prestigious publisher Edizioni Inchiostro as the exclusive cover designer for the series "Brothers in Blood." However, Mastrazzo is also engaged in another dream job. In the last three years, he has been a member of an elite team of artists who make unique art posters for Ferrari for Formula 1 races. Due to his incredible talent and relaxed lifestyle, Mastrazzo was a logical choice for a special guest HSF, and if you ask him and HSF was the logical choice of the festival, he wanted to come.
The Herceg Novi Strip Festival has been in the focus of the European comic scene for several years due to the reputation and image of the cool festival. Still, this year it attracts special attention to the ninth art public. Given the fact that the most significant spring festivals in Europe as well as in the region are canceled, it is logical that the attention of comic book lovers turned to Montenegro as a potential corona-free destination, and Herceg Novi as its capital of the ninth art.
"The traditional start date of HSF, the first Friday in September, is once again confirmed by chance as the perfect choice of the festival's founder Nikola Ćurčin. It gives us enough time to thoroughly monitor the development of the situation regarding easing measures and opening European countries. In addition to the increasingly resounding names of artists who confirm their arrival in Herceg Novi as special guests of the festival, this year, our event will be attended by many organizers of the most famous European comics festivals and their fans. The arrival in Herceg Novi has been announced by the directors of the cult festivals, British NICE, and Russian Boom Fest. It is a unique opportunity to promote Herceg Novi as a cultural and tourist destination to a broad audience that visits these major European festivals, "said HSF organizers.
They are aware that the only Montenegrin event dedicated to the ninth art is considered a small cultural miracle in the world of comics. That is an additional motive, but also an obligation to present Herceg Novi and Montenegro in the best possible light this year and justify that epithet. The HSF reminds that so far, in addition to Mastrazzo, the guests are the British PJ Holden, the Slovenian Izar Lunaček, Sedat Oezgen from Germany, and Artyom Trakhanov from Russia.
May 15, 2020 - Every year in Perast, May 15 is solemnly celebrated in memory of the incredible victory over the Turks in 1654. That victory was attributed to the help of the Mother of God, because the forces of Perast were so small that they could only win with the help of heaven. That is why they made a vow to commemorate the victory every year and to thank God and the Mother of God for the grace bestowed.
May 14, 2020 - Five weeks, ten kilometers of ropes, about 60 artists, 99 works which, through auction sales within the viber group "Jelena #BudiOptimist" generated a humanitarian income of 10,113 euros, are just some of the results of the great initiative Meštar O' Konopa 2020 (Master of Ropes 2020), realized by Tivat UNA Montenegro in partnership with Radio Tivat and several local businessmen.
At the moment when life stopped, and the need to be socially responsible made us find ourselves locked in our houses, Miško Lučić, founder and owner of the rope factory UNA Montenegro, which last year marked 25 years of work, came up with the idea to invite Bokelians to a game of ropes. Radio Tivat wholeheartedly supported this initiative, and in just two days a team was formed, which will coordinate the next five weeks with a prize competition. Time will tell - and the praiseworthy humanitarian action "Jelena #BudiOptimist," when the masterpieces of our artists found buyers in a joint action under the motto "Tivat watch over its people."
The game began with the promotion of ambassadors, carefully selected Bokelian creatives who are already recognized as masters of the style in various professions. The ambassadorial team, as we called them, delighted us with their creativity, even though there were those among them who reached for the rope for the first time. As Ivan Lučić from the company UNA has repeatedly emphasized - the ambassadors are the soul of this project, and with their energy and creativity they gave the organizers the credibility to confidently approach the search for this year's Meštar.
Three competition weeks full of excitement followed, and about 40 competitors joined the game through its phases. Challenges changed from week to week, and the ambassadorial team had no easy task to select the three best works at the end of each cycle, which sent their authors to the finals of the Meštar O' Konopa 2020 challenge, which included nine contestants.
The first place and the title of Meštar O' Konopa 2020 was won by Boris Radović from Kotor for the work "Sailboat." The second prize went to Sanja and Vasilije Vuković for the wall clock, while the third place went to Dijana Pavićević with a rope mandala.
Most of the participants at the beginning of the game had no experience working with the rope. After five weeks, we can say that Tivat has a serious pool of masters, so from this beautiful story, maybe some entrepreneurial initiative will emerge.
Seeing the great interest of the citizens to participate and the fantastic works that were presented from week to week, the initiators of the action came up with the idea that this whole endeavor could be used for humanitarian purposes, because a large number of Bokelians expressed their interest in buying works. When it turned out that our fellow citizen Jelena Prekajski needed help, Meštar started the viber group "Jelena #BudiOptimist." Through this group, in nine calls, 99 works of the master and about 20 works of art were auctioned - gifts from friends for the auction. The total income generated by their sale - 10,113 euros, was sent directly to support the treatment of Jelena Prekajski.
"Thank you wonderful, creative people, for this whole action and the love you send me," said Jelena through her sister, who followed the last gathering and auction of works organized by the Meštar O' Konopa 2020. In addition to the works of masters created in the final cycle, an amphora- a gift from the florist Nina from Donja Lastva, woven into a rope by Milan Lučić and Mima Mehović Šabović, was also sold at the last auction.
The creative challenge Meštar o ’konopa 2020 brought us back to tradition, but also showed us a possible new way of developing the local community in circumstances that have changed drastically in the last few months. The economy must adapt to the new situation and try to create sustainable flows of functioning at the local level. The Meštar O' Konopa can serve as a kind of model of how to network the local community into initiatives through which all participants in the process benefit.
The sponsors of the weekly awards for the winners of the Meštar O’ Konopa 2020 challenge cycle were provided by the Tivat companies Konoba Bacchus, Mala Barka and Montenegro Fishing.
When it comes to the auction "Jelena #BudiOptimist", in addition hardworking masters, we owe a special thanks to the PR manager of Porto Montenegro, Danilo Kalezic, who donated four paintings, as well as auction participants who provided the largest individual donations - Ivan Pekovic, who bought the winning work of the Meštar O' Konopa 2020, Asja Usanović who fought for the amphora, and especially Petar Žurić, who decided to donate the last sum with which he tried to gain the amphora.
The organizers are delighted with the effects of the action and promise that the Meštar O' Konopa will become another Tivat tradition.